Why It’s OK To Get Personal In A Blog Post

Blogs are funny things. You start out with a subject you want to write about and pretty soon the standard blog post fair gets mixed in with personal stories and revelations.


I’m out of the office for about a week. Here’s what I’m up to: helping create community in Austin, building a place for about 200 homeless people to live and work and call “home.” That, and opening my heart to this concept, the real work. I call it a big-ass dream — not mine to begin with — but one that I think it can work. After listening to some of the folks who masterminded this huge project, I got behind it too.

In fact, at least for the next five days, I’m going for it. No reservations. Watch this short video and you’ll see why (maybe).

Truth is I’ve been up and down about spending spring break with my daughter on this “retreat.” But the chips are down now, and I’m all in. This week will be neither comfortable nor convenient. In fact, part of the plan is to spend a day and night on the streets of Austin, wandering around doing, well, I don’t know. Ironically, I just saw somewhere that it’s “time management week” and I just had to smile.

To be honest, the biggest thing I’m concerned about is finding a restroom; not, as you would think, sleeping in public. Last weekend, while living my usual comfortable life, I watched as a shopkeeper told someone, “No, the restroom is for paying customers only.” Note to self, bring cash. See how weird this will be? I truly do not know what to expect…and that’s not exactly my style.

The second concern is the obvious fact that at the end of 5 days I have a sweet bed to come home to. Not quite sure how that squares with this whole project. To be sure, this untethered immersion into the homeless community is the whole point of the retreat’s length and depth. I have faith that I’ll learn from the organizers and my “Trusted Source” out there. 

Regarding the usual subject, from which I’m deviating greatly, who knows if I’ll come back with anything useful about copywriting and email marketing, but I’ll keep my eyes open for everyday persuasive word combinations and verbal motivational techniques.  ;-)

Which brings me back to why it’s OK to get personal in a blog post. My theory here is that if your reader can really see what you’re up to and how your work influences your customers, how your personal perspective influences your work, etc. then they are more likely to read your posts. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

sharing this big dream...If you’re all over the map, you’re going to lose some readers. You can’t just blog about every shiny thing that catches your attention and expect results. While I usually write about email and copywriting, I’m climbing out on a limb today and telling you a personal story about my upcoming week. Partly because I’ll be untethered from the Internet for awhile — an oddly frightening and exhilarating idea — which is an experiment in itself. Partly because my philosophy about blogging, business influence, paying it forward, etc. requires it. It’s a transparency thing, and a promise I made to myself.

Oh, and as long as the batteries last, I’ll keep you posted on my Facebook page and Twitter…and let you know how it went next week. See you then.



  1. says

    Loved your sharing on your ‘giving project’, I will look forward to hearing more. I love the project. My county in Oregon won’t allow for that type of community. But if this works well, maybe they would be willing to change our zoning. This program would work very well for our homeless communities. Go girl!

    • says

      Cool. Nancy, really I am just getting my feet wet in this. Not sure on the zoning and the legal ramifications, but my feeling is that this type of community really can work as long as there are people who are willing to spearhead the continual overseeing of the community. As I understand it, we are looking at 80% formerly homeless and 20% volunteer (maybe rotating?). Better than the status quo: people who genuinely have something to give, who go without options. I also will be interested to see how this develops and if Austin Community First will be an example for others like it. We just got back…picture raw land, 45 teenagers willing to lend a hand, teen group church leaders spearheading the retreat…I will keep you posted. Thank you for your kind encouragement. I will pass it on.